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DROID Turbo Android 5.1 Update Details Emerge

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 20:11

DROID Turbo Android 5.1 Update Details Emerge is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Motorola DROID Turbo was announced and released back in October, shortly after Google debuted the new Android 5.0 Lollipop update. And while that update is still slowly rolling out to many devices, including an array of smartphones from Motorola, the DROID Turbo is still on Android 4.4 KitKat.

Android L was first announced as Android 4.4 KitKat’s successor back in June during the company’s annual Google I/O developer event. Then in October Google officially unveiled the full Android 5.0 Lollipop update along with the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 tablet, and a new Nexus Player for the TV. Soon after Motorola made some announcements, and they were among the first to update smartphones too.

Read: How to Get Better DROID Turbo Battery Life

Currently the Motorola DROID Turbo is running a nearly stock version of Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and has seen a few updates from Verizon already. In January we heard Android 5.0 updates were coming soon, but this week one rep has confirmed the DROID Turbo Android 5.1 Lollipop update is coming soon instead. Read on for the details.

Back in December reports and rumors surfaced that a new software update was in the final testing phase for the DROID Turbo, and many assumed this would be Android 5.0 Lollipop. However, it arrived a few days later and was only a bug fixing update, and delivered a few new features. Android 5.0 Lollipop was missing in action.

Since then we’ve seen Android 5.0 Lollipop arrive for the Moto X, Moto G, and many devices from Samsung, HTC and LG. However, those with the impressive DROID Turbo have been left waiting, with no word from Google or Verizon.

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Read: Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 KitKat: What’s New in Lollipop

That said, the new update is coming soon, and it will be the absolute latest version of Android. That being the just announced Android 5.1 Lollipop update. This week a conversation on Google+ was talking about the DROID Turbo, and Motorola’s own Luciano Carvalho chimed in with some answers.

According to Carvalho, Motorola and Verizon won’t be updating the DROID Turbo to Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2, and instead jumping straight to the Android 5.1 Lollipop release. This is to ensure most the early Lollipop bugs will be addressed, and this also delivers the VoLTE or HD Voice calling, something that is new to Verizon and a stock feature in Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Rather than do all that work in Android 5.0, just to update to Android 5.1 later that has HD Voice built in, the company doesn’t want to waste time. Instead, Motorola and Verizon are putting all their effort into delivering the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the DROID Turbo as soon as possible.

However, there’s still one downside, and that is we don’t have any news regarding a release date. The Motorola engineer that made the comments only confirmed the DROID Turbo Android 5.1 Lollipop update is what’s coming next, but didn’t share any details as to when owners can expect it to arrive. It could be in the next few weeks, or it would be sometime in April or May, we’ll have to wait and see. Verizon doesn’t have the best track record with software updates, but with the DROID lineup being its premium device, we’re hoping it comes sooner rather than later. We’ll be on the lookout for more information.

DROID Turbo Android 5.1 Update Details Emerge is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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What is Battlefield Hardline Premium?

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 14:13

What is Battlefield Hardline Premium? is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Playing video games has always involved you being able to quickly adapt to changing situations and assess what’s important to you at that moment. Simply buying a video game for the Xbox One and PS4 requires the same attention to detail and quick study. Take Electronic Art’s Battlefield Hardline first-person shooter.

Launched this week, a basic copy of Battlefield Hardline costs $60. Users can pay more for an upgraded copy of Battlefield Hardline with additional add-on content for the multiplayer experience. There’s also a Season Pass that gives users all the extra upcoming maps and content that will cost more separately. A lot of gamers are asking themselves what Battlefield Hardline Premium is these days too.

Read: Battlefield Hardline: 7 Deals for Buyers

Unlike the other things developer and publisher Electronic Arts is offering for Battlefield Hardline, there’s no easy way to convey exactly what Battlefield Hardline Premium is and why you should pay for it.

What Battlefield Hardline Premium Is & Isn’t

Before we go any further, let’s talk about what Battlefield Hardline Premium is and isn’t. Battlefield Hardline Premium isn’t a subscription service. In fact, Battlefield Hardline is so new that only a free trial is available through the EA Access subscription service. You can’t buy Battlefield Hardline Premium and skip buying a full copy of the game. You can play Battlefield Hardline without the Premium subscription if you want. Be careful that you know which before you hit the Buy button in the Xbox Store or PlayStation Store because those sales are final.

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Battlefield Hardline Premium is meant for hardcore players looking for the best experience they can possibly get. It’s part add-on content and upgraded service. Battlefield Hardline Premium costs an extra $49.99 on top of the $60 you’ll need to pay for the game.

What is Battlefield Hardline Premium? — Add-On Content

Shooters like Battlefield Hardline are defined by two things: Single player and multiplayer. After launch, there’s usually not a lot of new things to do where single player mode is concerned. Multiplayer is where video game developers improve on their titles overtime to keep users coming back. The best way to keep multiplayer alive is with new weapons and maps. Normally, users have two options when new weapons and maps arrive. Either they can purchase them individual for around $15 or all together in one bundle, called a Season Pass.

Battlefield Hardline Premium includes 12 collections of weapons, which EA calls Battlepacks. It’s only through Battlepacks that users get some new armor, weapons and character add-ons. Additionally, Battlefield Hardline Premium buyers can look forward to free access to all four different map packs launching over the next year. Battlefield Hardline Premium is the only way you get access to exclusive patches to customize your multiplayer character. It’s also the only way to create custom camouflage firearms. Masks with special power-ups, weapon customization and an upgraded status for those who’ve progressed as far as normal users is also included. So too are what EA describes as “in-game missions” that normal users don’t have access to.

What is battlefield Hardline Premium? — Service

Now is where the service part of the equation comes in. Battlefield Hardline Premium is really about adding services and add-ons for hardcore users. After all, EA is only likely to convince real hard-core lovers of the title to spend even more money on add-ons.

Hard core shooter lovers like to track their stats and feel special. Battlefield Hardline Premium has plenty that they’ll like. The Gun Bench included with the upgrade allows users to track how many kills they earn with each weapon in addition to customizing that weapon. Since hard-core users are more likely to want to play competitively, Premium is required for access to online tournaments with other players. From time to time video game makers award double the experience notes so that users can level up their characters faster. Those too are hidden are part of Battlefield Hardline Premium.

Those four expansion packs with maps and weapons will come to Battlefield Hardline Premium buyers two weeks before they are available for anyone else.

All told, none of this is as particularly bad until you get to what EA describes as “priority position in server queues.” Whenever users want to play multiplayer they are dumped into a queue with everyone else who also wants to play. In almost every other game, users simply have to wait their turn. That’s not necessarily true with this game. Battlefield Hardline Premium buyers get first access. What that means is that if two players are waiting and one has the Premium upgrade, the one with the Premium upgrade will get into the game first.

Only you know if Battlefield Hardline Premium is for you. It’s a good idea to play the game first and see how you like the multiplayer before you make the investment.

What is Battlefield Hardline Premium? is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPad Deal Offers Amazing Discount on 128GB iPad Air

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 13:46

iPad Deal Offers Amazing Discount on 128GB iPad Air is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

If you’re in the market for a new iPad, you might be interested to know that B&H Photo is discounting the 128GB iPad Air down to just $529.

This model comes with LTE capabilities as well, so a markdown to $529 is quite good, considering that its current MSRP is $829, which is $300 off. It’s certainly the lowest price we’ve seen for a tablet like this.

iPad deals have been rather bleak lately, which isn’t too surprising since we’re not near any kind of shopping holiday, so this deal from B&H certainly puts the spark back in. A deal from late January discounted the iPad Air 2 by over $100, which was a nice sale.

Of course, these aren’t the best deal that we’ve seen for the iPad Air and iPad Air 2, but it’s very close. Last year for Black Friday, Target gave iPad Air 2 buyers a free $140 gift card with the purchase of the new tablet at full price, essentially knocking the cost down to as low as $360 for Apple’s latest slate.

Best Buy also discounted the iPad Air 2 on Black Friday, knocking $100 off the price, allowing buyers to purchase the tablet for as low as $399.

Perhaps the best deal that we saw on Black Friday was a $100 discount on the iPad Air, knocking the price down to just $299. Both Target and Walmart offered the discount on the iPad Air.

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However, today’s deal might seem tempting for some users, but for many, 128GB of storage is just way too much than what most users would need. We’ve discussed in the past that getting the 128GB iPad model isn’t the best option for many users, simply because it’s too much storage.

We’ve all been there at some point, where we go ahead and bite the bullet and buy a higher-capacity iPad with the thought that we’ll probably fill it up eventually with all sorts apps, games, and other files, but come to find out that it never cracks the 50%-full mark.

Of course, if you’ve had experiences in the recent past with old tablets where 64GB just wasn’t enough for all of your apps, music, movies, TV shows, etc., then yes, going for a 128GB model may be a good idea, but that applies to a very low percentage of users, and most iPad users won’t use that much storage.

Instead, we’d recommend getting the 32GB or 64GB iPad model for most users, which isn’t on sale today, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see more deals pop up over the next few weeks, especially with spring right around the corner. Many stores like to do “spring cleaning” sales to celebrate the warmer weather.

However, if you know that you’re a very casual user that doesn’t take advantage of a lot of apps and games, then 16GB might be enough, but if you’re anything more than a casual user, the 32GB or 64GB options are really the only way to go.

Of course, if you really want to take advantage of today’s deal, there’s no harm in getting the 128GB iPad Air, especially if it’s at a great price, and having that large cushion of free storage space could give you a lot of ease.

iPad Deal Offers Amazing Discount on 128GB iPad Air is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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5 Best Verizon Phones [March, 2015]

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 23:19

5 Best Verizon Phones [March, 2015] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

With the Verizon Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 releases just days away, right now is a horrible time to buy a new Verizon phone. We realize that not everyone has the ability to wait for Verizon to make its announcements which is why we’ve put together a list of devices we think represent the best Verizon phones for March, 2015.

Earlier this month, Verizon confirmed the arrival of two brand new flagship smartphones. One is the HTC One M9, a successor to the HTC One M8 that’s still home on Verizon’s network. The HTC One M8 was one of 2014’s top smartphones and the HTC One M9 is poised to slot in as one of the best Android phones of 2015.

The other is the Samsung Galaxy S6, a device that comes in two forms, a regular variant and a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge curved variant. Both will be coming to Verizon’s 4G LTE network and both will go up for pre-order on April 1st. Those that can wait for these two devices would be wise to wait for these two devices to hit shelves. That way, you can weigh them against Verizon’s current crop.

If you cannot wait and you must buy a new Verizon sometime in the last two weeks of March, we want to help you out. While the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 are poised for stardom on Verizon’s massive LTE network, there are some very capable Verizon phones on the market right now.

We are constantly bombarded with questions about the best Verizon phones money can buy. There are a number of different devices that we could recommend, the Verizon smartphone market is full of solid choices, but we want to narrow things down a bit and take a look at what we consider to be the top five Verizon phones available.

These devices represent the devices that we’d recommend to friends and family. And while our list may differ from yours, these are the devices that Gotta Be Mobile editors have selected for recognition this month. We feel like the devices listed here deliver the best, all-around package for this month and this month alone.

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With that in mind, here are the five best Verizon phones for March, 2015.

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iPhone 6s rumors are starting to swirl but that doesn't mean that an arrival on Verizon's 4G LTE network is imminent. No, the iPhone 6s release is probably months away at least which means that the iPhone 6 will remain Verizon's top iPhone and one of its top choices for the foreseeable future. 

Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is one of the best Verizon phones money can buy. The device features an excellent feature set that doesn't come with many weaknesses. Its design is capable, its camera is one of the best on the market, and it receives years of software support from Apple. It's a wise investment for those that aren't turned off by the closed iOS operating system. 

Verizon's iPhone 6 is still on the expensive side, $199.99 and up, though we've started to see some iPhone 6 deals emerge in the months after its release. Keep an eye out for iPhone 6 deals as March comes to a close. You may be able to knock a bit off its price tag. 

1 / 5

5 Best Verizon Phones [March, 2015] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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10 Common Nexus Android 5.1 Problems & How to Fix Them

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 22:00

10 Common Nexus Android 5.1 Problems & How to Fix Them is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Google’s new Android 5.1 Lollipop update brings tons of enhancements and fixes to owners of the Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 6, and more. It also, according to Nexus users, brings some problems of its own. With that in mind, we take a look at how to solve some of the common Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop problems we’ve seen in the days after its initial release.

Android 5.0 Lollipop problems have been a problem for Nexus users since the operating system’s arrival back in November. In November, owners of the Nexus 7, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 10, Nexus 9. and Nexus 4 complained about a number of issues affecting the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade and Google moved quickly to alleviate some of the more pressing issues.

Shortly after Android 5.0’s arrival, Google rolled out Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, two bug fixers aimed at squashing some of the initial Nexus Lollipop problems. While the two updates did address some of the problems impacting the performance on Google’s Nexus devices, they failed to fix everything and Android 5.0 Lollipop problems continued to linger.

Last week, Google announced another Lollipop update dubbed Android 5.1 Lollipop. Android 5.1 Lollipop is substantially larger than Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 and it comes with some huge enhancements to Lollipop features and bug fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. The change log is extensive and it’s clear that Google has high hopes for its massive bug fixer.

Android 5.1 Lollipop is working fine on some devices but as we’ve pointed out, we’ve started to hear about Android 5.1 Lollipop problems. The emergence of Android 5.1 problems doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that we hear about issues after every single Android update.

With that in mind, we want to take a look at some of the Android 5.1 problems that have popped up and some of the problems that have the potential to pop up for Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, and Nexus 6 users in the future. With no Android 5.1.2 or Android 5.2 release in sight, Nexus users will likely need to rely on third-party fixes for Android 5.1 problems for the foreseeable future.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Installation Problems

We started hearing about Android 5.1 installation issues almost as soon as Google’s OTA updates hit Nexus devices. Android installation issues often impact owners of Nexus devices and some users are reporting that Android 5.1 Lollipop is getting stuck during the installation process. It’s a common Android problem and one that comes with some possible fixes.

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Nexus users experiencing installation issues include people that have rooted, unlocked the bootloader and or installed a custom ROM. If that’s the case, the first thing Nexus users will want to do is check in with the Android development community. In our experience, a smooth transition to stock allows for the installation process to proceed. It’s a tedious process but it might be the only way to get the OTA going. (Note: Those of you trying to sideload will need to be on stock to use Google’s files.)

Nexus users that aren’t running custom software should take another route. If the Android 5.1 Lollipop installation process gets corrupted in any way, it would be smart to clear the device’s cache partition. To do this, Nexus users need to follow these basic steps that outline the process:

  • Press and hold Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until you see something other than Google on the screen.
  • You should see a large arrow at the top of the screen.
  • Tap Volume Down repeatedly until you see Recovery in the arrow.  Then tap the Power button
  • You should see an android on his back, chest open with a red triangle and exclamation mark.
  • While holding Power button tap Volume Up once then release Power.
  • You should now see a list of items at top of screen.
  • Tap Volume Down until the item to erase or wipe the cache partition is highlighted.  Then tap Power button to initiate.
  • Status messages will appear at the bottom of the screen.  Be patient – it can take 10-15 minutes to complete.  When done restart the Nexus.

Nexus users report that these steps have worked to get the installation process unstuck and it’s something to try if the Android 5.1 Lollipop installation process stalls.

If that none of that works, let the Nexus phone or tablet die, recharge to 100% and try installing again.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Battery Life Problems

Android 5.1 battery life problems are plaguing various Nexus users including owners of the Nexus 5. Battery life problems are common after a major Android release and they typically pick up as more users download the new software. There are a few things to try if battery life goes south after the Android 5.1 Lollipop update though there’s no guaranteed fix for Android battery life problems.

First off, Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop users will want to keep an eye on the apps and services taking up the device’s precious battery life. Users will be able to find that data in the Battery section of Settings. The Android operating system will breakdown the services sucking up the battery and that will allow users to nail down potential culprits.

After that, users should update the applications on board. Apps that haven’t been updated in awhile tend to cause problems. This will also help Nexus users identify troublemakers. If an app has recently been updated and it starts exhibiting issues, users will want to uninstall those applications to see if battery life improves after they’re gone.

Nexus users might also want to try rebooting the phone or tablet. It’s an extremely quick process but this will often return things to normal because the reboot will clear the cache and kill off services that might be eating away at precious battery life.

If none of that works, it might be time to start thinking about factory resetting the device, especially if it’s old. Users will want to backup important files before doing this because it’s going to wipe the device clean.

Nexus users with battery life issues can also take the less drastic approach and simply wait for Google to roll out a bug fix update. However, there’s no guarantee that the Android 5.1.2 release is close.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Charging Problems

Charging problems have plagued Nexus devices for years and we’re already seeing a few complaints about slow charging and broken charging. If a Nexus device starts exhibiting charging problems after Android 5.1 Lollipop, there are a few steps to take.

One method that’s solved slow charging issues on our Nexus devices involves a few easy steps. First, charge the Nexus up to 100% charge. Once it’s there, let the charge start to fall. Before it gets down to 0%, right around the 5% mark, charge it up to 100% again. Repeat this three to four times and it could return to normal.

If that doesn’t work, there are a few more things to try. First, make sure that the Nexus is being charged with the cable that it came with. If it is, and it still doesn’t work, try using another charger with the same voltage rating as the stock charge.

If that still doesn’t work, try ditching the wall charger for a USB cable. Plug the Nexus smartphone or tablet into a computer and charge it that way to see if it helps. Charging from a wall is faster but charging through a CPU is efficient as well.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Wi-Fi Problems

Wi-Fi problems are already plaguing Android 5.1 Lollipop users. Wi-Fi problems which include poor connectivity, are also common after major Android upgrades.

First, reboot the device that’s having trouble. Users will also want to try rebooting the router it’s connected to if that hasn’t been done in awhile. We recommend unplugging the router for a good 30 seconds and then plugging it back in. Nexus users can do the same for the modem as well. If that doesn’t work, make sure that the router’s firmware is up to date. This process will vary based on make and model.

If those simple fixes do not work, it’s time to head into the device’s settings. Once there, force the phone or tablet to forget the Wi-Fi network. Simply press down on the desired network and a white menu will pop up. At the top, there should be an option that says Forget network. Select that and then reenter the password to connect again. If that doesn’t work, try changing the frequency. To do that, click the vertical dots in the top right corner to bring up the Advanced menu. Go to Wi-Fi frequency band and play around with the settings. It should be set to Automatic by default.

If none of those fix the Android 5.1 Lollipop Wi-Fi problems, we recommend updating applications or entering Safe Mode to try and single out problem apps. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to factory reset the device.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Bluetooth Problems

We’re starting to see complaints about Android 5.1 Bluetooth issues and they will likely pick up once more people get the Android 5.1 OTA on board. Bluetooth issues are common problems for Nexus users and there are a few ways to try and dislodge them.

Those dealing with Bluetooth issues after moving to Android 5.1 should try switching the feature off and on. This is a simple fix but it’s worked for some Nexus users in the past. After that, users will also want to try clearing the cache on Bluetooth Share. To do this, head into Settings -> Apps -> Scroll over to All -> Select Bluetooth Share -> Clear Cache. After doing this, power down the phone or tablet and boot back up. Android 5.1 users can also try to Clear Data from the same screen. This is going to cause the Nexus to forget known Bluetooth devices.

If none of the aforementioned fixes work, users will want to try booting into Safe Mode. To do this, follow Google’s instructions:

  1. Ensure your device’s screen is on, then press & hold the Power button.
  2. Touch & hold the Power off option in the dialog box.
  3. Touch OK in the following dialog to start safe mode.

Users trying to connect to a car will need to consult the car’s manual to reset the car’s Bluetooth. The process is going to be different for each make and model, that’s why we recommend consulting the car’s manual. Once that connection has been reset and the connection’s been forgotten on the Nexus, try reconnecting to see if it works.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Cellular Data Problems

Nexus users, Nexus 5 users in particular, are reporting issues with cellular data after installing Android 5.1. This is another common connectivity problem that impacts devices after big Android updates.

First, Nexus users will want try flipping cellular data off. To do that go to Settings -> More -> Cellular networks. Turn it back on after 30 seconds or so and see if the connection is back. If it’s not, try rebooting the device. This has worked for us in the past when cellular data abruptly stops working.

We’ve also had success popping the phone or tablet into Airplane Mode. Switch on Airplane Mode and then switch it off. This has, in the past, restored cellular data on Nexus smartphones and tablets. If none of these work, it might be time to get in touch with the service provider, Google, or simply perform a factory reset to see if that works.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Performance Problems

Android 5.1 is apparently causing performance problems on devices like the Nexus 6. Performance issues often impact Nexus smartphones and tablets after major Android updates and it appears that Android 5.1 is no different.

There is one fix in particular that we think could have an enormous impact on Android 5.1’s performance and that’s the fix we’ll outline here. This will clear the device’s cache partition. It’s a process that we already outlined above but as a reminder, here’s how to do it:

  • Press and hold Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until you see something other than Google on the screen.
  • You should see a large arrow at the top of the screen.
  • Tap Volume Down repeatedly until you see Recovery in the arrow.  Then tap the Power button
  • You should see an android on his back, chest open with a red triangle and exclamation mark.
  • While holding Power button tap Volume Up once then release Power.
  • You should now see a list of items at top of screen.
  • Tap Volume Down until the item to erase or wipe the cache partition is highlighted.  Then tap Power button to initiate.
  • Status messages will appear at the bottom of the screen.  Be patient – it can take 10-15 minutes to complete.  When done restart the Nexus.

This fix should work across Nexus devices and it’s worth a try if a device is lagging after the Android 5.1 Lollipop update. If this fix doesn’t work, we suggest performing a factory reset, especially if the phone or tablet is extremely old. Factory resets are a pain but they often work wonders for older devices.

 

How to Fix Android 5.1 App Problems

Those experiencing issues with applications after the Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop update can try a few things.

First, try updating the app that’s causing problems. If it comes with support for Android 5.0 Lollipop or its recently been updated with bug fixes and enhancements, there’s a good chance that the update will help to stabilize performance. Users can also try reinstalling the application. This might seem simple but its worked for us in the past.

Those that continue to run into issues with apps after installing Android 5.1 Lollipop should get in touch with the developer. Most Android developers encourage feedback. And while they may not engage users immediately, there’s a good chance that these bug reports will prompt a fix for the app somewhere down the road.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Random Reboots

Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update does not plug up the memory leak problems plaguing Lollipop and we’re already hearing a ton of complaints about random reboots.

The first step to take is to simply soft reset the device. This has cleared up reboot issues for us in the past and it’s a simple fix that could help to limit the number of reboots.

We also recommend updating applications to the latest build. Old apps will often cause problems. Nexus users can also try booting into Safe Mode to disable third-party apps.

If none of those fixes work, Nexus users can try downgrading to Android 4.4 KitKat to see if that helps performance.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Problems If Nothing Else Works

If none of these potential fixes work, we suggest looking at a few different things. First, we recommend heading to Google’s Nexus Help Forum. There are a ton of knowledgeable people on Google’s forums that will gladly help if a device runs into trouble. Sometimes, unorthodox fixes will work where common fixes fail. We also recommend taking a look at Android Central’s forums, one of our favorite Android-centric forums. Other sites might also have some fixes we don’t have listed here, so, dig around.

Those that are still unable to find a fix for Android 5.1 problems might want to get in touch with Google itself. Often times, the company will provide possible fixes when contacted directly. Depending on the severity of the problem, users might also be able to get the company to send out a refurbished device. Warranties and customer service agents are going to be tricky to navigate but it’s worth a shot.

If all else fails, we recommend performing a factory reset on the device to bring everything back to the way it was when the device was first bought.

10 Common Nexus Android 5.1 Problems & How to Fix Them is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPhone 6 iOS 8.2 Review

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 20:18

iPhone 6 iOS 8.2 Review is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

A little over a week ago, Apple released its brand new iOS 8.2 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update brings Apple’s new Apple Watch application but it also brings tons of enhancements and fixes for lingering iOS 8 problems. In the past week, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s new software and today we want to share our full iPhone 6 iOS 8.2 review.

When iOS 8.0 for arrived back in September, it did so alongside the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 knows nothing else, for better or worse. While there are certainly some nice aspects to Apple’s new operating system, iOS 8 has also been marred by problems, particularly on Apple’s new larger iPhones.

iPhone 6 problems have been rampant in the months since its release though Apple has done its best to tackle some of the bigger issues. Since its arrival in September, the iPhone 6 has received seven iOS 8 updates starting with iOS 8.0.1. More recently, the iPhone 6 was updated to iOS 8.2, a brand new update that’s is much larger than your standard bug fixer.

Last Monday, Apple released the iOS 8.2 update into the wild after a lengthy stint in its beta program. The update’s main purpose is to deliver support for Apple’s new Apple Watch but the update also brings a ton of enhancements and bug fixes for lingering iOS 8 problems. It’s the update that many iPhone 6 users were hoping for.

iOS 8.2 is an incremental update but as many iPhone and iPad users know, incremental iOS updates can have a huge impact on the performance of a device. Often, that impact is positive and other times it’s negative. iOS 8.2 appears to offer both to iPhone 6 users. We’ve gotten a ton of positive feedback but we’ve also heard about iOS 8.2 problems as well.

With all of that in mind, I’ve been taking a look at Apple’s iOS 8.2 update on a number of devices including the iPhone 6, Apple’s 4.7-inch model. Today, I want to offer some feedback to those that might be leery of the update and to those that are already on iOS 8.2. This is my full iOS 8.2 on iPhone 6 review and it will attempt to answer the question that we’ve received many times over in the past week: Is iOS 8.2 worth installing on the iPhone 6? Let’s find out.

Advertisement (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); iPhone 6 iOS 8.2 Review

From last Monday all the way up until today, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.2 on iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 is my daily driver and I’m glued to it for work and fun, especially during travel. Before getting into this detailed review and my detailed impressions, I should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person.

That is to say, I probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a chance that I use Google Chrome, play more games, and use my home screen more than you do. So, consider this a general guide as you try to decide whether iOS 8.2 is worth installing on your iPhone 6. I’m only one man and I encourage you to gather as much feedback as you can before installing.

Apps

Typically, there is where I tell you that my apps are performing well in the aftermath of the latest iOS upgrade. And there is is where I usually laud developers for the job they’ve done in the months after the iOS 8 release. Unfortunately, iOS 8.2 hasn’t been a typical iOS 8 update.

While most of my applications are running fine, I’ve run into an unusual amount of problems on my iPhone 6 in particular. Its a bit strange given the job that developers have done up to this point.

A few applications in particular have been giving me a hard time this week. Google Chrome has been crashing non-stop, even more than usual. It has gotten to the point that I’m tempted to switch over to Safari until Google delivers another bug fix update. Chrome occasionally crashed on iOS 8.1.3 and below but nothing like this. The experience over the past week has been horrible.

 

Another problem child: YouTube. I use the YouTube application a lot and before iOS 8.2, it was working beautifully. Now, for whatever reason, the iPhone goes black about 20 seconds into a video and it returns itself to the lock screen. After I unlock it, it goes back to the video and the process repeats. I’ve tried reinstalling the app and it’s still happening. I’ve also poked around and I can’t find any temporary or permanent fixes so if you have any ideas, please get in touch with me on Twitter (@admillios).

Facebook and Twitter have also crashed more often than usual though I don’t use them as much as I use Chrome and YouTube so the issues there are far less annoying.

I’ve seen a few other crashes here and there but nothing consistent enough to mention. Most of my other applications are working fine after moving to iOS 8.2. It’s worth noting that my experience doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing is going to happen to you but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re using apps for work or school in the near future. You don’t want iOS 8.2 fouling anything up.

iOS 8.2 Battery Life

I’ve heard stories about iOS 8.2 battery drain but I haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. It still holds a solid charge when I’m using it and when it’s in standby.

Now this week, above all other weeks, is when I would have noticed something peculiar. I was traveling for a few days and I was highly dependent on my iPhone 6 during my travels. I literally used it all day for two days straight and came out unscathed. If something was hampering my battery life, I would have noticed it.

It’s important to note that I take great care of my iPhone. I keep my apps updated, I monitor battery life like a hawk, I turn it off occasionally, and I follow a number of our other tips to maintain great battery life.

I recommend taking a look at those if you’re noticing battery drain. iOS updates aren’t supposed to cause problems and often times, it’s a rogue app or your bad habits causing the problems.

Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth

AT&T LTE is working great after iOS 8.2. I was dependent upon it during my travels and I was able to pull down excellent speeds. I have also used Bluetooth, both in the car and at home, and I haven’t run into any issues with it.

My Wi-Fi issues that popped up after iOS 8.1.3 have dissipated as well. I’m finally able to keep a strong connection on my home router and on various other routers that I use when I’m on the move. I haven’t noticed any problems this week with iOS 8.2 on board and that has me optimistic about the future.

Connectivity issues can pop up at any time and if you see them, you’ll want to consult our list of fixes for common iOS 8.2 problems on iPhone. Those fixes are a great starting point for those of you dealing with issues after the move.

Bugs & Issues

For the most part, iOS 8.2 has been stable. I have, however, noticed one bug that’s been annoying me for several days now and I think it’s worth pointing out even if it’s not affecting the vast majority of iPhone 6 users.

I use Do Not Disturb, a lot. I mainly use it to mute active Group Message threads that pick up steam during the weekend. If you and your significant other have a ton of mutual friends, you probably know what I’m talking about.

For whatever reason, Do Not Disturb is failing on some of my group threads. That is to say that after putting a couple of threads on DND last night, my iPhone 6 still buzzed. One of the messages woke me up from a deep slumber where I was dreaming about March Madness and the San Diego State Aztecs cutting down nets. I was not pleased.

I’ve heard about this problem from other iPhone users but I never experienced it myself until this past week. I’m hoping it’s just a hiccup and not the start of a lengthy headache. We shall see.

It’s also worth mentioning that my iPhone 6 got stuck in landscape mode when I was holding it in portrait. It happened one time so it’s not the end of the world but it’s still an annoying problem that Apple really needs to squash. I’ve heard from several iPhone 6 users who say that the problem has returned with a vengeance. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t happen to me.

Other than that, I haven’t noticed anything major. I’m hoping that iOS 8.2 stabilizes in the next week or two as iOS updates tend to do. Only time will tell.

Speed

The iPhone 6 is still very fast and very fluid with the iOS 8.2 update on board. I haven’t noticed any lag or slowdown when opening apps and folders. I don’t expect this to change.

Is iOS 8.2 Worth Installing?

I’m getting pulled in two directions here. For the most part, iOS 8.2 is a solid update. It brings a ton of enhancements, bug fixes and the new Apple Watch app to the iPhone 6. On the other hand, it has brought some annoying issues to my version of the iPhone 6. Here’s what I think.

 

If you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems on iOS 8.1.3 or below, I think it’s probably worth a download. It’s loaded up with fixes and the problems I’m dealing with are extremely isolated issues.

If you’re having a solid experience on iOS 8.1.3, maybe wait a few more days or even a few more weeks until the Apple Watch arrives before installing it. It comes with some likable features but there’s no reason to rush into it.

iPhone 6 iOS 8.2 Review is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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5 Nintendo iPhone Games We Want in 2015

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 20:03

5 Nintendo iPhone Games We Want in 2015 is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

This week, Nintendo finally did the inevitable. For years the company maintained that it was fine with the mobile gaming empire it’d built on the back of handheld consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and the GameBoy. Nintendo’s leadership didn’t have a problem with smartphone games, but the company seemed to have no appreciation for the little time wasters that dominated the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Now, all of that is changing. This week Nintendo announced that it’s partnering with DeNA to produce mobile titles for iPhones, iPads and devices running Google’s Android operating system. Instead of porting over the classic title available on its mobile platforms, DeNA will create all new custom titles for smartphones and tablets. Presumably, some of those will involve new characters we’ve never seen before. It’s also possible that well see some of our series favorites make their way to the iTunes App Store.

Here are 5 Nintendo iPhone Games We Want in 2015 based off some of the Japanese company’s famed franchises. Some of them wouldn’t be great without an external controller. Others could be easily ported to the iPhone.

Mario Kart

Long ago great mainstream video game makers realized that you can’t just shoe horn any game on any platform. For Nintendo, that lesson came with the Wii and Wii U. Developers couldn’t just introduce games from other consoles and expect them to sell on the Wii and Wii U. The Wii had a motion controller that needed to be planned for. The Wii U has a second screen built into its surface WiiPad controller that compliments what is happening on the screen.

The biggest challenge for Nintendo and DeNA will be how it maintains the same quality and experiences, while approaching these new devices from a different angle. It should have the easiest time with the Mario Kart series. At this point, nearly every smartphone includes an accelerometer and gyroscope. Mario Kart on the iPhone could allow users to steer their characters in the same way. Nintendo wouldn’t have to do a lot extra since the franchise is really just about firing off weapons once you get close enough to your enemies.

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There are a lot of Nintendo franchises that would have a hard time making their way to iPhone. Pokémon isn’t one of those titles.

Mostly, Pokémon on iPhone would make sense because it’s not a game that involves a lot of precision movements and actions. It’s a role-playing game. You name your character, travel the world in search of new treasures and new creatures to battle and that’s it. The combat is great for a touchscreen because it’s very simple and nuanced. Even better, some of the one-off things that Nintendo has tried – like letting users buy a special pedometer to evolve their Pokémon – would work well too.

It’s also worth noting that Pokémon should be an easy game to monetize in small chunks. It’s full of weapons and power-ups that you need to find today. For a possible Pokémon companion on iPhone, Nintendo could simply add new extras as in app purchases.

Super Smash Bros.

Nothing is guaranteed to sell like Super Smash Bros. In the series you simply take on the job on the role of one of Nintendo’s characters and battle it out until a winner is decided. Unfortunately, Super Smash Bros is one of the games that wouldn’t necessarily translate well into a Nintendo iPhone game without some heavy changes or accessories.

On the accessories front, Nintendo and DeNA could roll out a game that functionally behaves the same as past Super Smash Bros. titles. Then the company could see its own brand of iPhone controllers to complement the game. That’s roughly what it does for the Wii U with the GameCube controller today.  It’s also possible that the company could simply pair down the game for smaller screens and shorter attention spans.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

For some reason, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker captured the imagination of console gamers the world over. On the surface it’s hard to see how anyone could get excited or this game. You are simply dumped into puzzle levels and left to figure out how to get around and collect the rest of the treasure.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker is perfect for an Nintendo iPhone game. Buyers of mobile games like treasures and puzzles. What’s more, it’s a slower pace meaning users less likely to need an external controller.

Duck Hunt

Many adults buying iPhones and iPads today spent their youth with an orange and white plastic gun trying to shoot any and everything that flew in Duck Hunt. Duck Hunt on the iPhone seems like an obvious opportunity.

Instead of guns, which Nintendo isn’t necessarily comfortable with, players could simply tap on the screen to take down the different ducks appearing on their screen. Again, Duck Hunt is so simple that a mobile version would be pretty easy to dive in and out of. To monetize the game Nintendo and DeNA could sell different “guns” with wider shot dispersal.

We could start seeing some Nintendo iPhone games in the next year thanks to this partnership.

5 Nintendo iPhone Games We Want in 2015 is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Nintendo NX is the New PS4 & Xbox One Rival

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 14:02

Nintendo NX is the New PS4 & Xbox One Rival is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4 video game consoles aren’t yet feeling the heat from sales of Nintendo’s consoles and games, but that could change after next year. This morning the Japanese video game giant announced the Nintendo NX, a next generation video game console that it plans to launch in the not too distant future to take on rival consoles.

Nintendo CEO revealed the existence of the NX during a speaking engagement this morning, according to transcripts on its site. Called the Business and Capital Alliance Announcement, Satoru Iwata was there to reveal more about Nintendo’s plans to embrace mobile devices. Iwata highlighted the Nintendo NX because he didn’t want Nintendo’s traditional fan base getting worried that the company wasn’t committed to the markets it already has a hand in saying, “As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename ‘NX’.

It’s not really that surprising that Nintendo would have a follow-up to the Nintendo Wii U already in the works. Video game consoles take years of development and planning. Things are usually set in stone years before we actually seem the finished product on store shelves. The problem is that in revealing the existence of the Nintendo NX publicly, Nintendo might have made the worst mistake it could leading up to a new product launch.

When anyone is spending as much money as it takes to buy something like the Wii U, they want to know that it’ll have a long life. They want to see a calendar filled with games and new releases to keep getting the most out of their purchase. What’s more, they want to know that what they’re buying right now is the best they can get for their money. In revealing the existence of the Nintendo NX Iwata could have destroyed any hope of Wii U console sales recovering in a big way.

Nintendo’s audience is dedicated. They stay on the look out for the next exciting titles and announcements from the gaming giant. Now that Nintendo NX is publicly known, they might be more likely to hang on to their money rather than keep investing in software titles for the Wii U. What’s worse, Nintendo may find that anyone well-informed enough to read today’s news won’t purchase a Wii U now either. Even if they were on the fence, or planning to do so in the near future.

To his credit, Iwata doesn’t go into detail about the Nintendo NX. He immediately moves on after acknowledging that it is too early in the development cycle to share details about the Nintendo DX. He does say that Nintendo expects to share more about it next year. The real question is going to be what new “concept” Nintendo is focusing on with the Nintendo NX.

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We think of mainstream gaming as set-top boxes with wireless or wired controllers. Nintendo hasn’t made a console like that since the GameCube. Instead of focusing on graphics and raw horsepower, the company has instead introduce new paradigms to the gaming industry. These new ways of gaming allow Nintendo to offer something that no other hardware maker can.

For the Wii, it was motion gaming and the Wiimote. The Wiimote allows users to swing their arms or move around in their game. The Wii spawned an entire generation of games that focused on natural user interfaces and made it easier than ever for anyone to play a Wii game. It sold very well, but sales slowed as Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for the Xbox 360 caught on and third-party video game makers didn’t embrace the console.

The Wii U has better graphics than the Wii. Gamers can still use older Wiimote controllers with the system, but it’s concept is it’s WiiPad. The WiiPad is giant wireless tablet with controller buttons that lets users see the items in their inventory or get real-time in-game statistics. Unfortunately, only one of the controllers can be used at a time.

The Wii U is on store selves now for $299.99 from GameStop.

Nintendo NX is the New PS4 & Xbox One Rival is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPad 2 iOS 8.2 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 13:42

iPad 2 iOS 8.2 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

Before you install the iPad 2 iOS 8.2 update on your old iPad you need to know what’s new in iOS 8.2 and how it performs on the iPad 2. We’ll show you the five most important details about the iPad 2 iOS 8.2 update so you can install it after you decide if this update is right for you.

Apple announced iOS 8.2 a week ago at an Apple Watch event and Apple Watch compatibility is a big part of this update, but it is not the only reason to install the iOS 8.2 update. The Apple Watch doesn’t work with an iPad, but there are plenty of other upgrades and fixes in this free update for iPad 2 owners to enjoy.

What you need to know about the iPad 2 iOS 8.2 update.

If you are already running iOS 8 on your iPad 2, the iOS 8.2 update delivers fixes to a lot of annoying iOS 8 problems.

Here is a fast look at the five most important things you need to know about the iPad 2 iOS 8.2 update just over a week after the iOS 8.2 release date.

Easier to Upgrade to iOS 8.2 on iPad 2

Starting with recent smaller upgrades Apple made it easier to upgrade the iPad 2 and other devices with limited storage to new versions of iOS 8 without the need for as much free storage.

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is ( in Hong Kong ) just updated · my <iPad 2 Wi Fi in white> to iOS 8.2 via over the air without using iTunes ! (^.^) file size : 274 MB

— Pinta Kong (@pintakong) March 11, 2015

Users report that it is easier to install iOS 8.2 on the iPad 2 without plugging in to iTunes, which is great for users who want to upgrade to the latest version of iOS 8 without plugging in to a computer.

iPad 2 iOS 8.2 Performance

Overall the iPad 2 iOS 8.2 performance is good for most users. Performance can vary from one device to the next based on apps, actual usage and other factors, but for the most part this is a solid update.

Side note: iOS 8.2 makes my iPad 2 totally usable again. Nice.

— Andy Smith (@asmith1106) March 10, 2015

The video below shows the speed and iOS 8.2 performance on the iPad 2 so that you can see how this update handles on one individual’s iPad 2. This is not a side-by-side comparison so it is tough to see exactly how it compares to iOS 8.1.3, but it will help you understand how fast this update handles on the iPad 2.

iOS 8.2 Update is About More than Apple Watch

Some users think that the iOS 8.2 update is only about the Apple Watch or about fixing iphone problems, but that’s not the case. There are a 10 iOS 8 problems that this fixes that can specifically address iPad problems and there are other security fixes as part of the iOS 8.2 update.

  1. Fixes an issue in Maps that prevented navigating to some favorite locations
  2. Addresses an issue where the last word in a quick reply message wasn’t autocorrected
  3. Fixes an issue where duplicate iTunes purchased content could prevent iCloud restore from completing
  4. Resolves an issue where some music or playlists didn’t sync from iTunes to the Music app
  5. Fixes an issue where deleted audiobooks sometimes remained on device
  6. Fixes a timezone issue where Calendar events appear in GMT
  7. Addresses an issue that caused certain events in a custom recurring meeting to drop from an Exchange calendar
  8. Fixes a certificate error that prevented configuring an Exchange account behind a third-party gateway
  9. Fixes an issue that could cause an organizer’s Exchange meeting notes to be overwritten
  10. Resolves an issue that prevented some Calendar events from automatically showing as ‘Busy’ after accepting an invite

As part of the iOS 8.2 update, there is no longer an option to jailbreak the iPad 2. Users that rely on the various Cydia tweaks and iOS 8 themes.

 

iPad 2 iOS 8.2 Problems & Fixes

Overall this is a solid update without a widespread list of complaints and issues, but there are some small and regular problems that users should be aware of. In the Apple Support Forums one user reports that AirPlay only sends audio at full volume or no volume and on Reddit there is a complaint about saving a PDF file on the iPad 2 running iOS 8.2, but that may be linked to the large file size.

If you are experiencing problems with the iPad 2 after installing the iOS 8.2 update, you should check out our list of common iOS 8.2 problems and fixes that will help you overcome most issues and bugs that can appear after upgrading to iOS 8.2.

Important iPad 2 iOS 8.2 update details.

It is possible to downgrade from iOS 8.2 to iOS 8.1.3 if you can’t fix a specific problem. With this in mind it is a good idea to test your favorite apps and most used services so that you can decide if you need to downgrade before Apple closes this option.

iOS 8.3 Release & Beta

If you don’t upgrade to the iOS 8.2 update you can still count on another major upgrade in the near future. Apple is working on iOS 8.3 now and there is a public iOS 8.3 beta that users can request access to use. Not everyone should install the iOS 8.3 beta, but it is an option to keep in mind.

The good news is that the iOS 8.2 update is not the last update for the iPad 2. We expect to see iOS 8.3 and possibly iOS 8.4 deliver features and fixes to the iPad 2. It is very likely that Apple will stop supporting the iPad 2 with new updates at the iOS 9 release this fall.

iPad 2 iOS 8.2 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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5 Best Android Phones [March, 2015]

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 22:23

5 Best Android Phones [March, 2015] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Right now is a horrible time to buy a new Android phone though we realize that there are many people that simply can’t wait for the new crop of devices to arrive. With those people in mind, we take a look at what we think represent the five best Android phones money can buy during the month of March.

Earlier this month, Samsung and HTC announced successors to the Galaxy S5 and One M9, two of the biggest smartphones from 2014. Those successors are the Samsung Galaxy S6 (and Galaxy S6 Edge) and HTC One M9. Both are set to arrive in the United States in the near future and both look like they will immediately become two of the hottest Android phones on the market. If you can wait, you should wait to weigh them against the current crop of phones.

If you cannot wait and you must buy a new smartphone sometime within the last two weeks of March, we want to help you out. While the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 are poised for stardom, there are some very capable Android phones on the market right now.

We are constantly bombarded with questions about the best Android phones money can buy. There are a number of different devices that we could recommend, the Android smartphone market is full of solid choices, but we want to narrow things down a bit and take a look at what we consider to be the top five Android phones available.

These devices represent the devices that we’d recommend to friends and family. And while our list may differ from yours, these are the devices that Gotta Be Mobile editors have selected for recognition this month. We feel like the devices listed here deliver the best, all-around package for this month and this month alone.

With that in mind, here are the five best Android phones for March, 2015.

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.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Samsung Galaxy Note 41 / 5

Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 will soon be joined by the Galaxy S6. If you can't wait for the Galaxy S6 in April and you're in desperate need of an Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is going to be a fine choice in the month of March. We like it more than the Galaxy S5.

The Galaxy Note 4 arrived in October to great fanfare and it's as good as advertised. It offers you a massive 5.7-inch Quad HD display, an improved design that combines plastic with metal, a camera with Optical Image Stabilization, and a speedy processor that's capable of providing excellent multitasking and gaming.

It's expensive, $299.99 on-contract most places, but it's certainly worth a look if you absolutely need to buy a new smartphone before the arrival of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. It's one of the top Android devices on the market and it's going to remain one of the top devices in the months to come. It's honestly that good. 

1 / 5

5 Best Android Phones [March, 2015] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Verizon Nexus 6 Release Kicks off Early

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 22:17

Verizon Nexus 6 Release Kicks off Early is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Last week, after weeks of rumors and speculation following months of silence from the carrier, the Verizon Nexus 6 release date was officially announced and confirmed. Last Thursday the Verizon Nexus 6 was officially released, however according to the website it was only a pre-order, with devices not expected to ship until March 18th.

Back in October Google confirmed its brand new smartphone was headed to all major US carriers, including Verizon Wireless. It was set to be the first Nexus smartphone offered by Verizon in multiple years. Eventually the Nexus 6 was announced and released from all carriers in November, except Verizon.

Read: Nexus 6 Review

As of today the Nexus 6 is finally available from all five major carriers in the United States. With the Verizon Nexus 6 only available online, with an official in-store release set for Thursday, March 18th. Today we received good news though, as it appears that some orders started shipping yesterday, so overnight deliveries are arriving today, and many are getting the Verizon Nexus 6 tomorrow.

Verizon took to Twitter and Verizon.com to confirm the release, letting users know about the Verizon Nexus 6 release date, pricing, upgrade terms and more. We initially thought pre-orders wouldn’t ship until this Thursday, according to the website, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Multiple comments on Twitter, and from readers, have confirmed it’s arriving today for some.

Heading over to the Verizon Nexus 6 page you’ll see the device is available now in the 32GB Midnight Blue color option for $249 with a new 2-year contract, $27.08 a month with Verizon Edge, or the expected $649 outright price. Verizon’s site still says you can buy it now, but it won’t be “available until 3/18″. Verizon also has a bundle offering a screen protector, case, and car charger all for $299 on contract.

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While typically smartphones are released after a short pre-order period, Verizon didn’t state last week’s release would be a pre-order, and apparently that’s because it wasn’t. There was just a few days of delays in gathering inventory and getting shipments ready, because as of right now users are getting shipping notifications that their Verizon Nexus 6 with Android 5.1 Lollipop are on the way.

For now, it appears that those who’ve pre-ordered are getting their devices ahead of the March 18th release date from Verizon, but not all orders will go out at the same time. If you ordered the Nexus 6 last week from Verizon, be on the lookout for an email notification letting you know the device has shipped.

Did you pre-order the Verizon Nexus 6? And if so, has it arrived yet? If not, expect an updated shipping status or a shipment confirmation in the near future.

Verizon Nexus 6 Release Kicks off Early is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Fix Bad Galaxy S4 Battery Life After Lollipop

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:15

How to Fix Bad Galaxy S4 Battery Life After Lollipop is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

The new Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update brings a ton of new features to the company’s former flagship. According to some Galaxy S4 users, it also brings battery life problems. With that in mind, we want to take an in-depth look at how to potentially fix bad Galaxy S4 battery life before and after Android 5.0 Lollipop.

When Samsung first announced the Galaxy S4 back in 2012, the company confirmed that it would have Android Jelly Bean on board. At the time, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was Google’s current version of Android. In the years that have followed, Samsung’s outfit the Galaxy S4 with a number of new software updates including Android 4.3, Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 5.0 Lollipop.

In January, Samsung started rolling out the Android 5.0 Lollipop update, the third major update for the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 Lollipop update delivers some big time features to owners of the aging former flagship including Google’s new Material Design. While some Galaxy S4 users have already gotten a taste of the changes, others are still waiting for the update to start rolling out. That might be a good thing.

Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 users tell us that the upgrade brings Android 5.0 Lollipop problems including battery life issues. Complaints about bad Galaxy S4 battery life have started to pick up as the software’s moved out to more variants and more regions around the world. And with a Galaxy S4 LTE update now rolling out, complaints should only get louder.

Battery life issues always seem to plague Galaxy users after a new Android update though most of the time, it’s not the actual update that’s causing the problems. Apps and other services are usually the culprit. For the moment, these Galaxy S4 battery life problems appear to be somewhat isolated though we do expect them to grow as more updates roll out.

How to Fix Bad Galaxy S4 Battery Life

With that in mind, we want to try and fix bad Samsung Galaxy S4 battery life for you. This guide delivers help to get better battery life on Samsung’s current flagship. These fixes should work if you’re on Android 4.4 KitKat or if you’re on Android 5.0 Lollipop. We’ve geared this towards Android 5.0 Lollipop users but we know that plenty of people remain on the older version of Google’s software.

Advertisement (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Find Apps Eating Up Your Battery Life

The first recommendation that we always make to people suffering from bad battery life is to check out third-party applications. If you want to fix your bad Galaxy S4 battery life, you’re going to want to keep an eye on applications for potential problems.

If you use an application a lot, it’s going to drain your battery. You know that. However, there are also times where bugs or issues might cause an app to go rogue and start abnormally draining the device’s charge. And that could be happening here after the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update. So let’s start with your apps.

First, head into your settings and start taking a look at the effect that applications are having on the device’s battery life. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it’s time to start taking a closer look.

If you think an app is draining more battery life than it should be, try reinstalling it to see if that corrects the issue. If the problem persists, try uninstalling the app to see if that has a positive effect on battery life.

If you can’t figure out which app might be causing trouble, you’ll want to boot the Galaxy S4 into Safe Mode in an effort to single out potential troublemakers. Booting the device into Safe Mode disables third-party apps and allows you to isolate apps that could be causing the problems. Here’s how to boot the Galaxy S4 into Safe Mode:

  1. Power down the device. Then, press & hold the Power button and volume down key.
  2. Once it boots up, you can let go of the power button but keep the volume key held down.
  3. When you have successfully entered into Safe Mode, you will notice the text ‘Safe Mode’ at the bottom left corner of the screen.
Restart the Galaxy S4

This is a simple fix but it could prove to be effective. If you haven’t done it in awhile, restart the Galaxy S4. This will clear the cache and it’s possible that it will get rid of perceived battery life issues as well. Most of you know how to restart the Galaxy S4 but we’ll remind you anyway. Hold down the power button, confirm that you want to turn it off, and then hold the power button down to turn it back on.

Disable Unnecessary Services

If apps aren’t the issue, and a simple restart of the Galaxy S4 doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to dig a little deeper. In our experience, disabling features when they aren’t in use tends to have a positive impact on overall battery life.

If you think your Galaxy S4 battery life is draining faster than normal, we recommend shutting off Wi-Fi connectivity when you don’t need it, Bluetooth connectivity when you don’t need it, NFC when you don’t need it, GPS when you don’t need it, and cellular data when you don’t need it. You can turn all of those off from inside the Galaxy S4’s settings and the device’s quick menu makes them even easier to monitor.

One other thing to note. Poor cellular coverage is often to blame for bad Android battery life. When your S4  needs to search hard for a signal, it runs the battery down faster, so keep that in mind when you’re in spotty areas. You should consider turning Airplane Mode on when there isn’t a strong 4G or LTE signal in the area. This could help keep battery drain to a minimum.

Try Using a Black Wallpaper

Switching to a black wallpaper could help deliver better Galaxy S4 battery life thanks to the way Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays consume power. The device does not come with a default black wallpaper but you can search online for one.

After you’ve downloaded one, go to Settings -> Wallpaper -> Home and Lock Screens -> More Images -> set your black Galaxy S4 wallpaper. It’s a quick fix but it could help maintain a better charge on your aging former flagship.

Replace the Stock Launcher

You also might want to consider replacing the Galaxy S4’s stock TouchWiz launcher with something new. The TouchWiz launcher has been known to hinder performance and it can be replaced. There are tons of different launches to choose from though the Nova Launcher is one of Android’s most popular choices. Give that a try if these other simple fixes don’t work out.

Downgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat

If you’ve already moved to Android 5.0 Lollipop, and some of you have, note that you can return to Android 4.4 KitKat in the event that Android 5.0 isn’t on par with what you expected from Samsung’s new update for the Galaxy S4.

 

We recently put together a guide on how to accomplish this so that’s going to be a great starting point for those of you that want to drop back down to Android 4.4. Follow those steps using the correct files and you should be able to get Android 4.4 KitKat up and running in no time at all.

Factory Reset the Galaxy S4

If you don’t want to downgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat and you can’t find any fixes for your battery problems, you can factory reset your Galaxy S4. Note that this will wipe all of your files so you’ll need to make a backup before going this route.

To factory reset the Samsung Galaxy S4, go into Settings, User & Backup, and select Backup and Reset. From there, select Factory Data Reset. From there, select Reset Device and then Delete All.

If for whatever reason that doesn’t work, you can also factory reset using the hardware keys on the phone. Here’s how to do that. It’s a far more difficult process. We recommend the above route if possible.

  • First, you’ll need to turn the Galaxy S4 off.
  • Once its off, press and hold the Volume up button, the Home button, and the Power buttons together until you see an Android appear on the screen.
  • Once you see this, use the Volume down key to highlight the Wipe Data/Factory Reset option. Use the Power button to select it.
  • Use the Volume down key to select Yes – delete all user data and then use the Power button again to select it.
  • When you see the Reboot System Now option, you’ll know you’re on track. Use the Power button to select that option.
  • This will erase everything on the Galaxy S4 bringing it back to the state it was in when you first bought it. It also might fix the problems you’re having.

We’ve heard from several Galaxy smartphone users who say that a factory reset fixed bad battery life on Lollipop though it should be considered a last ditch effort. It’s an extremely time consuming process but it’s one that could potentially solve your problems once and for all.

If that doesn’t help, it’s probably time to look into your warranty. You’ll want to contact Samsung or your carrier directly to see if they can be of any assistance. In some cases, they might be able to help.

How to Fix Bad Galaxy S4 Battery Life After Lollipop is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Where to Get a Cheap Xbox One

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 19:47

Where to Get a Cheap Xbox One is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

For a lot of people, there’s nothing better than settling down in front of their television and enjoying a video game or two. It used to be that buying consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox One was something only the self-described hard-core gamer did.

There’s a separate group of console buyers growing in numbers though. They might play a game or two, but what they really value is the Xbox One’s entertainment features. They want to be able to stream video through the console’s wide variety of apps. It’s not that they aren’t interested in games, they just aren’t necessarily dedicated to them as much as they are entertainment in general.

Read: Xbox One vs PS4 – What Matters Now?

Regardless, there are a lot of users wondering where they can get a cheap Xbox One console. At first glance, Xbox One prices are still holding steady, but there are some notable deals available too.

Where to Get a Cheap Xbox One – Buy New

Logically, the first thing that comes to mind when you’re looking for a cheap Xbox One is buying used. Buying used is how millions of people a year can afford last year’s new iPhone or this year’s must-have smartwatch. Buying used is great, but investigate buying a cheap Xbox One fresh from Microsoft’s factories first.

With the Xbox One, Microsoft uses software and hardware bundles to lure in owners of its Xbox 360 and Sony’s PS3. By offering bundles with the latest games, Microsoft makes it much more cost effective for users to get into its ecosystem. One side effect of this is that Microsoft often has a new hardware and software bundle coming and another on its way out of the door. This process is why Sam’s Club has the cheap Xbox One bundle that doesn’t involve buying used.

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Until May 2nd, Sam’s Club Warehouse stores are offering Microsoft’s Xbox One standard edition console for $299. It’s the lowest the Xbox One has even been priced. It’s cheap for two reasons. First, it lacks the Kinect 2 sensor that allows the Xbox One to identify people in a room, communicate with televisions and pull of motion-controlled gaming. Second, it doesn’t come with any free digital games like the current bundles do.

Regularly, the cheapest Xbox One console is $399, but Microsoft cut prices on all of its bundles earlier this year. The Xbox One without a Kinect 2 sensor with free games is $349 on Microsoft’s website and just about every retail store. Purchasing a version with the Kinect 2 sensor is $449. Free games are included with that version too.

Where to Get a Cheap Xbox One – Buy Used

If you’re really dedicated to buying a cheap Xbox One you have to look into buying used. Like cars, smartphones and tablets, that’s where the best savings and the most risk is.

Places offering the best prices on second-hand Xbox One consoles have names you’ve already heard of. A check on eBay showed the Xbox One selling for as little as $325 without a Kinect 2 sensor.

GameStop offers the Xbox One with no Kinect sensor and no free games for $319.99. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing their refurbished Xbox One with Kinect since it still costs $449, the same as an Xbox One with Kinect brand-new. GameStop allows you to trade-in your old hardware and games towards the purchase of your Xbox One too – which is very important.

You have to take into account what you’re getting with these used Xbox One consoles. GameStop insists that it tests every used system it resells backs to users for defects and hardware errors. Still, you’re getting someone else’s used stuff. Be especially careful on eBay and Craigslist when buying used. Those systems aren’t being tested and something could be wrong with them. GameStop at least has a generous return policy. These open marketplaces don’t really deliver that at all.

If you really want a cheap Xbox One, but you’re nervous about buying used, visit Microsoft’s online retail store. Among the new Xbox One bundles that it sells is the Refurbished Xbox One with Kinect + Free Games bundle. Shoppers who pick up that bundle get a month of Xbox Live Gold, a digital copy of Ryse: Son of Rome, a digital copy of Dance Central Spotlight and a Kinect 2 sensor for $399. The hardware included in this bundle alone is worth $449 new. What’s more, the Xbox One is made by Microsoft. At least you know that you’re buying a used console examined by the company who originally made it and not some third-party.

Read: Xbox One Buying Guide – The Accessories You Need

Good luck tracking down a cheap Xbox One. Remember, to take your time and examine all of your options. Also be on the lookout for free games and decent discounts on any accessories you think you might need.

 

Where to Get a Cheap Xbox One is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Windows 10 Leaks Reveal More Ahead of Release

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 14:01

Windows 10 Leaks Reveal More Ahead of Release is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Microsoft could have a new version of its Windows 10 operating system in the hands of testers in mere days. That’s if all the leaks that surfaced this weekend concerning both Windows 10 and Windows 10 for phones is an accurate indication of the company’s plans. Most of the features weren’t major, but a few will be very interesting to see on users PCs.

Windows 10 10036 has a lot of subtle changes. According to Neowin. Insider Hub, the app that allows users to provide feedback about the operating system directly to Microsoft now shows users stats about their experience. Listed stats include thing like how much feedback they’ve provided and missions they’ve completed. Missions are what Microsoft calls the feature walk-throughs that it asks users to complete.

In the last version of Windows 10, Microsoft said that it’d just started rewriting the Start Screen for better performance and more. As such, we haven’t had a complete look at what Microsoft is planning for it. Windows 10 10036 picks up a transparency setting so that users can have the Start Screen overlay itself on top of other Windows. In its current iteration this looks like a mess in full screen.

There are a lot of fit and finish changes here too. Buttons along the top of the Start Menu are farther away from the top edge. That’s also something that users complained about. Microsoft has completely eliminated Places area icons and header too. That top left area of the Start Menu did look a bit too busy in the earlier release.

Task View well allow Windows 10 users to create separate workspaces for their apps. In theory, the final version of Windows 10 will make it easier to separate work apps from play apps, even if they’re all open. With Windows 10 10036, Task View has picked up some new options. Now users can choose whether apps in the current Desktop they have open in Desktop for show up on the Taskbar. Users can drag and drop apps into different Desktops too, according to ThurrottApps can be moved to and from a microSD card. Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant, can’t be taught names.

Windows 10 10036 doesn’t include new apps to replace Calendar and Mail. Also missing is Microsoft’s Spartan web browser. That last bit is strange as Microsoft representatives confirmed that we should see their new up-start Google Chrome and Firefox competitor very soon.

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A single toggle for how users get updates is attracting a lot of raised eyebrows. Today, downloading an update for your Windows PC involves your version of Windows reaching out to Microsoft’s servers, checking to see what’s new and then downloading them. Windows 10 10036 includes an option for letting users download apps from either Microsoft’s servers or other PCs. Microsoft describes the feature as letting users get what they need “more quickly.”

Read: Windows 10 Update with New Features Coming Soon

Apparently, the feature uses what’s called Peer 2 Peer technology to share updates between PCs. Users who already have a PC in their house with the latest updates won’t have to reach out to Microsoft’s servers again to get the same updates. In theory, in saves on bandwidth at a time when cable companies are trying to reign in the amount of data their users consume with data caps and new pricing schemes. Users will also have the opportunity to pick up updates from other PCs over the internet. That’s what has some security-minded enthusiasts nervous.

Microsoft still says that it plans to release Windows 10 as an update for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users later this year for free. It’s unclear whether Windows Insiders participating in the Windows 10 Technical Preview will get this version of Windows 10 or another with even more features soon.

Windows 10 Leaks Reveal More Ahead of Release is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Best NCAA Brackets to Print, for iPhone & Android (2015)

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 13:55

Best NCAA Brackets to Print, for iPhone & Android (2015) is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

If you need the best NCAA Brackets to prepare for the 2015 March Madness tip-off, you’re in the right place. The 2015 NCAA Brackets are finally official and with it the start of an incredibly busy and exciting month of college basketball. We’ll show you the best NCAA brackets to print, the best apps to get the NCAA brackets on your iPhone or Android.

The official printable NCAA bracket is a good place to start, but there are a lot of different ways to see how the NCAA 2015 March Madness competition will shape up once the first round is done.

Here are the absolute best 2015 NCAA brackets and apps that will help you prepare for your office pool or to earn total domination over friends in a semi-friendly March Madness 2015 tournament.

Here are the best 2015 NCAA brackets to print, fill out online or use on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Amazon Fire or computer.

The first March Madness 2015 games start on March 17th, so you have a day or so to fill out your NCAA brackets, and yes it is a good idea to fill out multiple brackets so that you can get some practice and have some choices about which to enter in an office pool or as part of official online NCAA bracket contests. The NCAA brackets lock on March 19th for some of the official contests like the Capital One March Madness Bracket Challenge.

You can watch March Madness 2015 games online as part of the official NCAA 2015 live streaming options. You can download the March Madness app on Amazon Fire, Google Play, iPhone and iPad and Windows to watch the March Madness live. You will need a cable subscription for these apps to work.

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There are a variety of printable NCAA brackets for 2015 that you can even set up online and then print out after you fill in your teams. This is especially useful if you want to change your mind or have horrible handwriting. You can use the 2015 printable NCAA brackets on a computer, iPhone, iPad or Android and then print right form the device, even from the iPad or iPhone if you have a WiFi printer.

Use printable NCAA brackets to make filling out by hand easy.

You can go straight to the source and use the official 2015 NCAA bracket online where you can fill out the NCAA bracket online as part of the Capital One Challenge. This includes a very handy option to auto-complete the NCAA bracket for you. With this option you can pick the teams you want and let the computer fill out the rest by picking the highest seeded teams. This will not overwrite your choices if you thing an underdog is going to take the game. After you finish setting this up online, you can print it out or share it with your friends.

If you fill out your NCAA brackets online you can use autocomplete to pick the winners for you.

Another great option is the printable NCAA bracket for 2015 from the NCAA. This shows the starting teams and you can print out a blank 2015 NCAA bracket so that you print them out and hand out the brackets to people in your office pool who might not know where to start.

If you want a cleaner looking 2015 NCAA bracket to print, check out the March Madness bracket from SBNation. This printable bracket strips out the information that you don’t need on a bracket for a cleaner look that is still easy to fill out.

2015 NCAA Brackets on iPhone, iPad, Amazon Fire & Android

You can use 2015 NCAA bracket apps on iPhone, iPad, Android and Amazon Fire to build a bracket and compete with friends or with others online.

March Madness Live Apps

Use the official app to see the NCAA bracket you started online and make changes on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Amazon Fire or Windows device.

The official 2015 March Madness Live apps on Amazon Fire, Android, iPhone and iPad and Windows let users build better NCAA brackets by combining an online and a phone or tablet option. If you start by filling out the 2015 NCAA bracket online at the NCAA option above you can log in and view your custom bracket or make changes on any of these devices.

Use the links above to download the official NCAA bracket challenge option and you can even use the app to autocomplete your 2015 NCAA brackets and to manage or join a group to compete.

ESPN Tournament Challenge

The EPSN Tournament Challenge app lets you create up to 10 NCAA brackets and compete for big prizes.

The ESPN Tournament Challenge app delivers the best looking NCAA bracket on an iPhone or Android phone screen. You can scroll through to see the bracket in an easy to follow way. The app includes a contest to win up a huge amount of Best Buy gift cards and you can also create up to 10 brackets. The ESPN Tournament Challenge app is also available for the Amazon Fire and Fire HDX.

Best NCAA Brackets to Print, for iPhone & Android (2015) is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Edu-Jargon: The Game

The Tech Savvy Educator - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 01:26

A few weeks ago I shared a small game I had developed for a conversation-based conference session. It was a riff on “Cards Against Humanity,” and utilized the Education Jargon Generator found on Science Geek to provide the kind of stereotypical edu-jargon that makes up most large conference session titles. The answer cards were all blank. I realize now that was a mistake. While I intended the game to be farcical, it was a bit too open ended; some people took to it immediately, while others were a bit lost. That was a mistake I’ve hopefully rectified with version 2.0 of the game, which I’ve now officially titled “Edu-Jargon.”

The game now includes close to 45 “fill in the blank” edu-jargon conference session titles, and close to 50 answers taken from the more lighthearted side of teaching. In other words, the game is now a mash up of the more stiff collared side of educational theory, and the more “real world” nature of educational practice. I’m bound and determined to turn “Edu-Jargon” into a full fledged card game, but it still needs a few more months of development, refinement, and a lot more play testing. It’s going to be worth it too, because every time I play test the game with a new group of people, the laughs are louder, the card combinations are funnier, and I see people really click with it.

I knew last Saturday at EdCamp OAISD that I had to bring this game to life when one of the players created the following line of edu-jargon with three cards:

“The global reality of forgetting to feed the classroom pet over break, and mystery meat Monday in the cafeteria.”

My plan is to have this in full playable form by the summer (275 cards), with a small run (perhaps Kickstarter) of professionally printed cards, complete with original logo, graphics, and colors. I also plan to make it absolutely free (in the spirit of Cards Against Humanity) as downloadable PDFs for those that don’t want a shrink-wrapped copy. It’s strange bringing something like this into the world and sharing it on my blog; I’m fearful someone with more resources than I have will find the idea, print off a few hundred copies with a custom card print house, and sell through the tiny market I feel there is for it. Then I remind myself that my readership is infinitesimally small, the idea is most likely NOT that great, most people only come here looking for “tech tips,” and I don’t exactly play nice with the big names in Education Technology circles, which means it won’t be getting the kind of overly gratuitous shares on social media. In other words, my ego is far bigger than the reality of how far my thoughts wrap around the globe, and how good the game actually is.

If you’d like to download the game in its current form right now and play test it for me, please do! You can download the PDFs below, as well as the instructions for how to play. There are two full sheets of black “question cards” and two full sheets of white “answer” cards, with one blank sheet of answer cards for players to fill in their own answers. It’s still a work in progress, but if you play it and like it, or want to offer me feedback, please leave comments!

Edu-Jargon Instruction (Google Doc)

Edu-Jargon – Black Cards Sheet One (PDF)

Edu-Jargon – Black Cards Sheet Two (PDF)

Edu-Jargon – White Cards Blank (PDF)

Edu-Jargon – White Cards Sheet One (PDF)

Edu-Jargon – White Cards Sheet Two (PDF)

 

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5 Reasons You Should Buy the New Chromebook Pixel

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 19:38

5 Reasons You Should Buy the New Chromebook Pixel is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

Google released a new Chromebook Pixel, refreshing their high-end Chromebook with a new hardware design, a serious bump in specs and a new lower price. Google posted the Chromebook Pixel on their new Google Hardware Store, which showed up with little fanfare.

But should you buy the new Chromebook Pixel 2015, or Chromebook Pixel 2 as some call it? For the right person, the Chromebook Pixel will make a great option. Google positions this as a developer tool or an option for the IT pro who has to manage a slew of Chromebooks at work. It’s also an option for ChromeOS fans, or those who want a luxury notebook but can spend all their time in a browser or use webapps.

Here’s 5 reasons to buy the new Chromebook Pixel, if you fit that target audience for the device.

Chromebook Pixel Price

The new Chromebook Pixel 2015 starts at $999. For that price the buyer gets some handsome specs. Here’s the hardware Google put into their new high-end system.

  • Intel Core i5 processor running at 2.2GHz
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 32GB of flash storage

For those wanting a little more, the more expensive Chromebook Pixel will cost $1,299. Google packed in some potent hardware as follows:

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  • Intel Core i7 processor running at 2.4GHz
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 64GB of flash storage

In addition to those specs, both Pixels will include the following:

  • 12.85-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and 2560×1700 resolution (239 pixels per inch)
  • Multi-touch screen
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Spacious glass trackpad
  • 802.11ac wireless with a/b/g/n support
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 720p webcam
  • 11.7 x 8.8 x .6 inches and 3.3lbs.
  • Up to 12 hours of battery life
  • Ports: 2 USB Type-C, 2 USB 3.0 ports, SD Card slot, Headphone/mic jack
  • Video output over Type-C USB port with a dongle that supports up to 4K video using an optional DisplayPort or HDMI adapter

Chromebook Pixel Looks Beautiful

The Chromebook Pixel comes with a beautiful new silver design replacing the darker one. It’s not the sleek wedge shape that so many manufacturers use today to compete with the popular MacBook Air. Even Apple mimics that design with their new MacBook. Instead, Google uses a design that looks more like the MacBook Pro, with squared edges and rounded corners in an aluminum housing.

The screen on the Chromebook Pixel will best the new MacBook with Retina Display or the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The Pixel resolution gives users 239 pixels per inch density. That’s higher than the human eye can perceive and beats Apple’s Retina Display. Also the 3:2 ration means an almost square look, making it a better option for business users. The aspect ratio will let the user fit more on-screen than the widescreen look on most modern computers.

Chromebook Pixel Has Better Specs than the New MacBook

 

When people compare the Chromebook Pixel to the new MacBook (see above) that Apple announced the same week, they’ll find that the Pixel will trounce the MacBook specs, at least on paper.

  • Processor: The Intel Core i5 or i7 runs faster with more power than the Intel Core M processor in the new 2015 MacBook
  • Display: Apple’s new MacBook doesn’t include a touchscreen and it’s rated at 226 PPI, versus the Pixel at 239 due to a 2560×1700 resolution compared to Apple’s 2304×1440
  • Memory: The Pixel starts at 8GB just like the MacBook, but at the $1,299 price the Pixel comes with double the RAM, at 16GB versus Apple’s 8GB.
  • Storage: Apple beats the Pixel in terms of storage, but Google includes more free Google Drive storage than Apple does with iCloud Drive
  • Ports: The MacBook includes a headphone/mic jack and one other port, a Type-C USB port for charging the computer and connecting peripherals; the Pixel adds a second Type-C port and a pair of USB 3.0 ports plus SD card slot

A Type-C USB port will transfer data faster while also sending electricity both ways. Manufacturers can design their computer to charge the machine over a Type-C port or power peripherals. It looks like great technology and Google put a couple in the Pixel.

Apple only put one Type-C port on the new MacBook, annoying some potential MacBook buyers who took the social media to voice discontent over the MacBook’s single port. A user can’t charge their MacBook and plug in an external drive, an iPhone or hook up to a projector at the same time. Both MacBook and Pixel users will need an adapter to hook up to a DisplayPort or HDMI port for extending the display to a TV, monitor or projector, but Pixel owners can connect to peripherals while charging the machine at the same time thanks to 2 Type-C ports.

Chromebook Pixel Fast Charging and Long Battery Life

Google promises up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge. They also promise a two-hour boost in battery life on the Chromebook Pixel after just 15 minutes of charging. Do the math: that means a user can theoretically charge their computer to full power in 90 minutes. That’s an attractive feature for people who work on their machine all day and just need a couple of hours to finish out a long day. Someone could unplug the charger in the morning and start using my Pixel at 9:00 a.m. and then plug it in at night while having supper. Then the person can run the Pixel on battery until late into the night.

The Chromebook Pixel Runs ChromeOS

For some people ChromeOS serves as a deterrent to buying a Chromebook. When they try a Chromebook and learn how simple and easy they are to manage, many people find them more useful. Add in a ton of free software and impeccable security, and you get a hit. Show someone how easily the person can update the OS in two minutes or even totally erase and restore it in under five minutes. Suddenly ChromeOS gets more appealing.

Chromebooks won’t satisfy everyone. However, most notebook computer users today don’t need anything more than a Chromebook. That assumes the user will spend most of their day doing the following:

  • Looking at websites
  • Reading email
  • Catching up on social media
  • Watching streaming video at YouTube, Netflix or other sites
  • Editing documents, spreadsheets, or creating presentations for work or school
  • Playing online games
  • Posting pictures to image sharing sites or social networks

If that’s 90% of your computer usage, a Chromebook will fit perfectly in your lifestyle, especially if you own another mainstream desktop system or other laptop. Use that for hardcore tasks like video editing and gaming and get on the Chromebook for the above tasks. Some people buy the Chromebook as a second computer, but then find themselves using the Chromebook more often since they’re so convenient.

People who find the Chromebook Pixel enticing should take this challenge. Don’t open any software on your current computer other than the Chrome browser. If you can make it through a week without getting frustrated, then a Chromebook would make a great fit. If you like owning the best, the Chromebook Pixel will remain the best Chromebook for some time.

How can a new Chromebook user cope without their software? The Chrome App Store offers great alternatives for most popular software. Here’s a few of the best options.

The Last Word

The Chromebook Pixel 2015 looks like an incredible machine. Hardcore ChromeOS fans will love the new Pixel. Developers who create webapps or work in an online editor, or IT managers who want an awesome laptop and need to manage a school’s collection of lower cost Chromebooks, will love it as well. The new MacBook offers Apple fans a luxury notebook for people with simple needs. The Chromebook Pixel offers serious ChromeOS fans a similar luxury option, but it comes with more powerful hardware. Now ChromeOS fans don’t need to compromise on speed and power if they’re willing pay triple the price.

We’re not suggesting that the Chromebook Pixel’s a better option than the MacBook or a high-end Windows PC. However, it offers a great option for the people we’ve included. There’s a large group of users who would likely enjoy using ChromeOS but haven’t tried it yet for lack of opportunity.

For some low cost options, see Notebooks.com for a number of excellent Chromebook options at a lower price.

5 Reasons You Should Buy the New Chromebook Pixel is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

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21 Windows 8.1 Tips 

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 16:34

21 Windows 8.1 Tips  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Lately, it’s been Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system that’s snatched headlines. Like with previous updates, many are hoping that Windows 10 will deliver the features they want and the add-ons that they need to stay product and entertained. The features coming with that update that’ll certainly please most PC buyers. What we forget is that it was Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 that paved the way for Windows 10.

Windows 8.1 has a ton of features and little small changes that aren’t appreciated. Worst, Microsoft hasn’t done the best job at publicizing some of the reasons Windows 8.1 is the best operating system for notebooks, desktops and tablets we’ve ever had. Here are 21 Windows 8.1 tips and tricks that you can use today. At the very least, they’ll help you hold out until Windows 10 makes its debut later this year.

1. Windows Store Apps Sync Content

Microsoft’s Windows Store allows users to download new apps. These apps purchases sync automatically, showing up on new computers whenever you sign in. There’s another reason they’re better than Desktop programs: many of them sync the content inside them across devices too. For example, when you log into Tweetium on a new PC all of your accounts are already there because they synced from your old one.

Look in your apps settings to see if its content can be sycned with other devices using your Microsoft Account.

2. Use Built-In OneDrive to Back Up Your Data

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When you setup your Windows 8.1 PC, chances are you turned on OneDrive syncing. Windows 8.1 includes OneDrive sync in the background. Anything added to the OneDrive folder on your PC is available online at OneDrive.com or on your other PCs. This is great for quickly sharing documents, or backing up nearly everything on your device.

3. Keep Track of Facebook & Twitter with the People app

Both Twitter and Facebook have great apps available in the Windows Store. You don’t really need them though. Depending on your needs, the People app offers a pretty compelling social experience. There you can see Facebook and Twitter status updates. Additionally, you can post new updates too. Also, there’s a contact book in there.

4. Swipe Down on the Lock Screen to Go Directly to Camera

Windows 8.1 wasn’t just made for notebooks and desktop PCs, it was also designed for 2-in-1s and tablets. Machines in both of those form factors sometimes come with a rear-facing camera for picture taking. Swiping down on the Start Screen is the easiest way to access a rear-facing camera without unlock a Windows 8.1 2-in-1 or desktop.

5. Play Games Using the Xbox One or Xbox 360 Controller & Earn Achievements

With Windows 10, Microsoft is rolling out full-on Xbox Live support. Windows 8.1 doesn’t have very robust direct integration with Xbox Live, but there’s are some basic things that are available. Shop for games in the Windows Store to earn Xbox Live achievements. Many games support the Xbox One controller too.

6. Pin Websites to the Start Screen If They Don’t Have an App

Can’t find an app in the Windows Store for your favorite website? That’s ok. Instead, go to the Windows Store version of Internet Explorer, navigate to the website and click or tap on star icon. Now click or tap on Pin. From that point on, a tile on your Start Screen will take you directly to that site.

7. Use the Settings Charm to Check for Preferences and Settings

Can’t search a Windows Store app or find a specific setting that you think should be there? You need to check in the Charms Bar. Access the Charms Bar by placing your mouse pointer in the top-right corner of your screen. Touch users should place their finger on the right edge of their display and swipe left.

8. Play Almost Anything with Xbox Video

You can download the world-famous VLC media player Desktop app or you can use, Xbox Video for all of your video content. Anything placed in your videos folder will show up there. Xbox Video supports tons of formats, including many from smartphone cameras and the web.

9. Turn Off OneDrive Syncing

Microsoft built-in OneDrive syncing so that Windows 8.1 users would never have to wonder whether their stuff was already synced. It was a good idea, users had complained about the separate OneDrive syncing app on Windows 7 and Windows 8 for years. Unfortunately, some just don’t want any syncing going on between their apps.

Read: How to Turn Off OneDrive Syncing

Don’t like OneDrive? Turn it off from inside the Settings app under OneDrive.

10. Adjust the Size of Text and Apps

Many notebooks, all-in-one desktops and monitors have incredible displays with ridiculously high resolutions. To help with this, some companies like Lenovo upscale text, images and interface elements. You can adjust the elements size and more directly from the Control Panel.

11. Restore Back To Factory Settings with the Push of a Button

Don’t pay someone else at BestBuy to reset your computer. Instead, Microsoft made the process of restoring a Windows device much easier. Simply go to the Settings app and press the Update and Recovery button. From there you can reset your device back to factory settings and keep your files exactly where they are. Additionally, there’s a nice button for a fresh restart.

Read: How to Reset Windows 8.1

12. Dive Into the Games App to Check your Xbox Live Gamerscore and Messages

Remember, Windows 8.1 does have some decent Xbox Live integration. The Games app not only allows users to earn Gamerscore from apps sold in the Windows Store. Users can also check Xbox Live messages and get a breakdown of the games for the Xbox 360.

13. Go Straight to the Desktop in Windows 8.1

With the Start Screen, Microsoft wanted to create one interface for all kinds of users. Whether they succeeded or not remains up for debate. Touch users seem to love the Start Screen. Notebook and Desktop users seem to be just tolerating it.

Read: How to Turn Off the Start Screen

With Windows Phone 8.1 Microsoft added the ability for users to skip pass the Start Screen and head directly to the Desktop. Go into the Desktop and right-click on the Taskbar. Then click on Properties. Under Navigation there’s a setting for going directly to the Desktop when you turn on your PC instead of the Start Screen.

14. Move the Taskbar to the Top of Your Screen

Right-click on the Taskbar and click on the Unlock the Taskbar button. Now drag the Taskbar to whatever edge you’d like it to show up on. By default it sits at the bottom, but putting it on the top makes it consistent with Mac OS, early versions of Windows and easier to spot.

15. Turn Your Lock Screen into a Photo Gallery

The Desktop is great for showing off pictures you’re proud of. However, they’re only available when your PC is on. With Windows 8.1 Microsoft added lock screen slideshows. You can configure your lock screen to cycle through different images while locked automatically. Pictures can even be pulled from Microsoft’s OneDrive service.

Read: How to Add A Slide Show to the Lock Screen in Windows 8.1

Go to the Settings app. Now tap or click on PC Devices. The option to turn your lock screen into a slideshow is at the bottom.

16. Use Storage Spaces to Make Multiple Copies of Your Important Files

Windows 8 didn’t add a lot in terms of hard-core features for Desktop users. One that did make it was Storage Spaces. Storage Spaces allow Windows 8.1 users to stitch together multiple physical hard drive for more storage and back ups.

17. Add a Background to the Start Screen

By default, The Start Screen comes with Tattoos, weird looking designs that users can switch the color of. Don’t use those. Instead, use your favorite Desktop background. Right click on the Desktop’s Taskbar. Click or tap on Properties. Select Navigation and click or tap on the option for using your Desktop background for the Start Screen.

Read: How to Set a Background in Windows 8.1

18. Turn Off Live Tiles

Right-click or tap an hold on individual Live Tiles to Turn them off. This is great when you’re in public and don’t want to share your emails or giving a press conference where the latest news from the New York Times is relevant.

Read: How to Turn Off Live Tiles in Windows 8.1

19. Use Bing SmartSearch to Find Websites and Apps Without Opening a Web Browser

You can search anything and everything on your PC with the search field in the Desktop. There’s also Bing SmartSearch, an integrated way to search files locally and for websites and images on the web.

Place your finger on the right edge of your screen and slide to the right if you’re using touch. Mouse users should place their pointer in the top-right hand corner. Just hit Search.

20. Breakdown Which Apps Are Using Most of Your Storage Space

Apps and games can quickly take up a lot of your storage. Included in Windows 8.1 is a storage tracker that gives users a breakdown of what apps and games are consuming the most storage on their device.

Go to the Settings app and hit Search and Apps. then click on App sizes. You can delete the most egregious apps from here without going out to find the app on your Start Screen.

21. Open More than One Internet Explorer Windows At a Time

In Windows 8.1 there are two versions of Internet Explorer. The most used one is probably the older design built for mouse and keyboard users in the Desktop. The second is a version built with mice, keyboards and touch in mind. Everyone knows how to open a tab in the second version, but not many realize you can open to Internet Explorer windows side by side.

Read: How to Open More Than One Internet Explorer Windows in Windows 8.1

Open a new tab and go to the website you’d like to use in the Internet Explorer app. If you have touch, tap and hold on the tab you want to put in a new window. Mouse and keyboard users should right click on the tap. Now tap or click on Open Tab in New Window. 

21 Windows 8.1 Tips  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Lenovo Yoga 3 14 Review

GottaBeMobile - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 18:30

Lenovo Yoga 3 14 Review is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Since the moment I saw Windows 8 I’ve been a proponent of the 2-in-1 PC. To me, buying anything that can replace two things seems logical. Instead of spending less money on two different devices, 2-in-1 buyers can pool their resources and get something of better quality. What’s more, there are no intricacies. You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to keep your music and documents synced between two devices because there’s just one. Admittedly, while I like 2-in-1s, the notebook that can become a tablet craze has never really made sense to me. It’s why I never expected to like the $949 Lenovo Yoga 3 14.

A man can’t serve two masters, and the same is true of 2-in-1 notebooks. When buying a notebook users expect horsepower and screen real estate. Both of those things are at odds with what we want from a tablet. Tablets are supposed to have long battery life – and above all: be portable. I don’t think the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 necessarily reaches a balance between its two personalities, but it does come closer than most other notebooks have.

Lenovo Yoga 3 14 Review – Design

I’ve only ever owned two tablets: the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Microsoft Surface. I wanted the Kindle because the screen on my smartphone was way too small for me to be reading books on. I wanted a media tablet, something that I could watch Netflix on and cradle intimately as I finished the latest J.K. Rowling novel. Later on, I wised up, acknowledging that getting a tablet closer to what I expect from a notebook would mean productivity on the go. I tell you all this to put an emphasis on just how open I am to the 2-in-1 concept. It’s my opinion that these things – these Windows PCs with morphing powers – are our collective future. Boy does the Yoga 3 14 have some pretty futuristic features.

To be clear, none of those futuristic features involve looks. The Yoga 3 14 comes in black or silver. The black model I tested only really had two design flourishes. The first was a silver-etched Lenovo word mark. The only other thing that stands out are its two silver lid hinges.

The edges of the Yoga 3 14 are gently tapered to make it feel more comfortable in the hand when closed. Its entire body is made of a soft-touch plastic that looks basic, but feels extremely nice in the hand. Every port you need is on the left or right edge surrounded by tiny gently grooved plastic.

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Large vents on the bottom cool the Lenovo Yoga 3 14. One set of vents face downward for when you’re in laptop mode. Another set face outward from the back so that the Yoga 3 14 can cool itself when you’ve used those attractive metal hinges to turn it into a tablet.

Opening the Yoga 3 14 reveals its keyboard deck, spacious trackpad and 14-inch display. Above that display is a single webcam. There’s no set of numbers off to the side because Lenovo has graciously used a lot of the keyboard deck to space out every soft, divine letter on its keyboard. The only flourish here is the metal lining around that trackpad.

Lenovo Yoga 3 14 Review – Internals

It’s true that most people buy something like the Yoga 3 14 because they’re looking for a familiar experience. The notebook is a tried-and-true form factor. We collectively understand it and know how to use it.

The Yoga 3 14 looks like a notebook. Perhaps, more importantly it has all the things that a notebook should have inside.

Those gently grooved edges house an army of good-to-have ports. On the right are two USB 3.0 ports, headset jack and a slot for adding or removing media from an SD card. On the right edge sits a power button, some necessary indicator lights, a Lenovo Connect button, a mute bottom, volume buttons, Mini HDMI and another USB 3.0 port. It’s almost as if Lenovo made each side of the notebook specifically for its two form factors. The left side for when you’re using it as traditional notebook, and the right is for when you’re using it for anything else. I’m not a fan of where that power button is, but it’s a personal preference, really. I hit it by accident a few times.

Forget what you know about power cables. For years, notebook users have been stuck tracking down expensive cables that work with nothing else. The Yoga 3 14 doesn’t have a power cable as you’ve ever seen it before. Instead, Lenovo followed what’s happening in tablets and smartphones and opted for a new USB power port. The little wall charger that comes with the Yoga 3 14 will have you thinking about how influential the iPhone and iPad really have been on the entire industry.

Inside the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 I tested was an Intel Core i5 Processor backed up by 8GB of RAM. Apps and games were stored on a spacious 256GB Solid State Drive. Booting the Yoga 3 14 took no time at all. Waking the machine up from sleep took even less time. Moving files or running every program I needed to run – Adobe Photoshop included – ran just fine. As a sort of torture test, I kept my regular Chrome browser regimen, opening at least 7 tabs at the same time. No hiccups, but I did hear a bit of fan noise. The trackpad texture and keyboard were superb. Don’t worry night-time writers, you can easily see both at night thanks to backlit keys and that metal rim around the trackpad.

The Yoga 3 14 comes with a 14-inch FHD LED display. It has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which is a numeric way of saying that it looks absolutely gorgeous. I didn’t find myself distracted by too much glare and everything looked sharp and crisp – except Chrome, and that’s Google’s fault. Colors pop and whites are very, very white.

I was less impressed by the touchscreen’s performance. For the first few days, pushing that display into tablet mode worked out great. Over time I started to notice some issues with latency. I’d tap an element on the screen and it’d take way too long for it to register. As time went on, the issue became more noticeable. It all culminated in a software update that practically made the touchscreen unusable. It was disappointing for sure. Restarting did absolutely nothing to fix it, but rolling back the software update did.

Lenovo Yoga 3 14 Review – Experience

Living with the Yoga 3 14 day was mostly great. Again, this machine’s performance is absolutely stellar. Battery life is rated at about 7 hours by Lenovo. I easily hit that day after day. I’m honestly disappointed that I have to go back to my regular machine and chain myself to a power plug every 5 hours or so.

One thing I’ve always worried about with 2-in-1 notebooks is hinges. I always think about whether a hinge has enough tension to hold up to my taps and swipes in notebook mode. Again, not a problem for the Yoga 3 14. I also expected weight to be an issue, but it wasn’t. Any 14-inch tablet is going to be unwieldy, but the Yoga 3 14 wasn’t extra cumbersome.

What became a recurring theme was the buggy nature of the touchscreen and software experience. By now, I’ve become very used to Windows 8.1 and its quirks. What kept bothering me was all the extra software nonsense that Lenovo stuffed this PC with. Harmony is designed to make switching between multiple modes easier, but it just got in my way. Lenovo’s Message Center turned out to be mostly useless. What’s more, the PC had all of these non-essential third-party utilities that added nothing to the experience. Worse, they actually harmed the experience in some ways. First I had to take most of the stuff off. Second, the stuff I left on kept popping up instead of the default Windows apps. Windows has a PDF reader, users don’t need one from a third-party they’ve never heard of.

Lenovo Yoga 3 14 Review – Conclusion

I liked the Lenovo Yoga 3 14, which isn’t as big of an endorsement as loving it, but still decent. If you’re dead-set on the notebook 2-in-1 form factor it’s some decent hardware at a somewhat decent price. I wanted to love the Yoga 3 14, but I simply couldn’t. Issue with that touchscreen and the amount of random junk Lenovo installed had me wishing for a cleaner experience.

The Lenovo Yoga 3 14 is a terrific 2-in-1 Windows notebook. You’ll, just need to spend some time deleting some extras.

Lenovo Yoga 3 14 Review is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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MacBook vs Surface Pro 3 

GottaBeMobile - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 18:03

MacBook vs Surface Pro 3  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Overnight, Microsoft and Apple’s battle to control the high-end notebook space heated up. Microsoft was the first to throw down the gauntlet. Last year’s Surface Pro 3 proved that the company could create a very thin and light notebook PC with high-end flourishes that people would want to buy. Just releasing a serious MacBook Air competitor wasn’t enough. Microsoft launched a series of promotions and ad campaigns trashing the iPad and the MacBook Air for essentially, not being a forward-thinking 2-in-1 PC.

The new MacBook is Apple’s answer to Microsoft’s challenge. The new MacBook is forward thinking. It embraces new trends in mobile devices and takes mobile productivity to a place it’s never been before. Here’s how the new MacBook compares to its natural direct competitor, Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 3.

MacBook vs. Surface Pro 3 – A Difference In Approach

Chances are you’ve already seen the Surface Pro 3. In fact, it’s one of the few Microsoft hardware products that normal people can pick out of a crowd. That’s how successful the device has been for the company’s image.

The Surface Pro 3 is a full-size notebook that looks like a tablet. It’s what Microsoft calls a 2-in-1, a device that can be more than what you expect it to. The body is painted silver and has slightly tapered edges that give it a high-end feel. The front of the device is dominated by a 12-inch high-definition screen with a resolution of 2160 x 1440. There are dual speakers and a touch-sensitive Windows button flanking that display. The things that sit on the Surface Pro 3’s edges reveal its true nature. There are fan vents because even the entry-level Surface Pro 3 for $799 has a Intel Core i3 processor for notebook like productivity. That model also features 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage.

You can have any old notebook that transforms into a tablet. By adding support for a drawing stylus, a full-size USB port, Display Port, adjustable kickstand and optional physical keyboard Microsoft turned the Surface Pro 3 into the best Windows notebook you can buy too.

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Read: Surface Pro 3 Review

Like the Surface Pro 3, the new MacBook embraces mobile technology. It just doesn’t do so in the ways users might have expected. Apple’s most-portable notebook ever isn’t a tablet with notebook internals and a removable keyboard. Instead, the new MacBook is a refined device so thin that Apple might have gone a bit too far.

Apple has ruthlessly cut down on the weight and thickness of the MacBook Air to give users what it is simply calling the new MacBook. This new MacBook starts at $1299 and is just 0.52-inches tall. It weights 2.03 pounds.

The new MacBook is dominated by a 12-inch LED display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440. Inside the base model is a 1.1Ghz, dual-core Intel Core M Processor that can turbo boost to 2.4GHz if it feels the extra raw power is necessary. Every version of the new MacBook Air comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, giving users plenty of space to put all of their valued music, pictures and video on.

Apple has chosen to embrace mobile with the MacBook by ditching the things that have made it’s computers still feel like relics of a bygone era. It’s Intel Core M processors allow it to run all the same apps that it could before, but Apple has ditched the fan needed to cool older MacBooks entirely. Yes, this means that the new MacBook is a bit less powerful than the MacBook Air, on the other hand, it’s what allows the machine to be so incredibly thin.

Read: New MacBook – Release, Price & Features

The new MacBook borrows from the iPhone and iPad’s design too. It’s the first machine from Apple to come in Space Gray, Gold and Silver. Now buyers can match all of their favorite Apple products.

Lastly, it complete ditches each and every port of value. On the new MacBook there’s just a single way to connect devices physically. This plug is based on the new USB C standard. That’s right. Like the iPhone and iPad before it, the MacBook has a just single way for users to connect things to it. To achieve it’s thin profile Apple developed a new keyboard with LEDs under each light and a new butterfly hinge. There’s also a ForceTouch trackpad that understands when you want to move through things faster.

Apple is banking on new wireless technologies filling in any connectivity gaps. Wi-Fi 80211 AC, Bluetooth 4.0 are built-in.

When that’s not possible, users can purchase a $79 adapter that adds the crucial ports from the MacBook Air back. With the add-on users get USB 3.0, a charging port and Display Port out for connecting to monitors and televisions. It’s this port that also charges the new MacBook.

MacBook vs. Surface Pro 3 – Conclusion

Many have compared the Surface Pro 3 directly to the new MacBook. That makes sense, they’re aimed at the same mobile-first buyer. A Surface Pro 3 with an Intel Core i5 Processor and 256GB of storage costs $1,299. That’s without the $125 keyboard accessory. Adding that it makes the Surface Pro 3 a slightly bigger purchase.

That being said, its pretty hard to argue that the Surface Pro 3 – even at $129 more – isn’t a better purchase than the new MacBook. Obviously, users who need  Mac OS will choose the new MacBook, but the Surface Pro 3 has more ports and is more versatile. This is one of those rare times when Microsoft actually comes out winning on the hardware front.

MacBook vs Surface Pro 3  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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